Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time: Take off your clothes in the middle of winter and run naked through a Denny's restaurant in Spokane. Alas, while two streakers were...
SPOKANE — Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time: Take off your clothes in the middle of winter and run naked through a Denny’s restaurant in Spokane.
Alas, while two streakers were inside Denny’s, wearing nothing but shoes and hats, a customer climbed into their idling car and drove away with the vehicle and their clothes.
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Police arrived to find the frozen frolickers shivering in 20-degree temperatures behind some parked cars.
“I don’t think they were hiding. I think they were just concealing themselves,” police spokesman Dick Cottam said.
They became minor celebrities and appeared on “The David Letterman Show.” Their car was not so lucky. It was found shortly after with the steering column, ignition, dashboard and door locks destroyed. Missing were a stereo, CDs, registration, garage-door opener and their clothes.
That January episode was among the Lowlights of 2004 in Washington state, as compiled through a review of news archives. The following list in no way contains every lowlight of the past year, but it is a start:
In December, Zach White, 18, decided to go hunting for coyotes and used a live chicken as bait. The Medical Lake High student went to a friend’s barn to get one, but the birds scattered. White grabbed a .22-caliber rifle by the barrel and used it to swat some chickens out of the rafters. The gun went off and a bullet ripped through White’s forearm. He was treated and released from a Spokane hospital.
“Common sense was really the main thing that I didn’t follow through,” White said. “You’ve gotta be careful with guns.”
In August, syndicated radio ranter Tom Leykis was assaulted in Seattle. Leykis, based in Los Angeles, is known for belittling callers and urging women to bare their breasts. He was in Seattle for a broadcast when he was knocked to the ground outside a night spot. Leykis said he was kicked in the head by someone who said his virility had been questioned on the air when he called the show.
In April, Port Angeles designer Tom Bihn learned that hundreds of his laptop bags and backpacks included a care tag in French that contained insults against the president. The bags’ bilingual washing instructions included French text that in English means: “We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn’t vote for him.”
“I’m going with the idea that it’s a joke about me, the president of the company,” Bihn said.
Everett cab driver Mark Forbes was nearing the end of a 12-hour shift when he picked up two men from India about 5:30 a.m. April 10. They asked to be taken to visit a relative in Milwaukee. The Oregon town of that name, spelled Milwaukie, was about 200 miles south on Interstate 5. Once the cab got to Oregon, the passengers used Forbes’ cellphone to call for directions to the house. “Are there two Milwaukees?” one passenger asked Forbes. “Yes,” Forbes said. “There’s another Milwaukee. In Wisconsin.” The passengers agreed to pay $3,000 to be driven there. They arrived in Milwaukee on April 12.
A nasty U.S. House race between Republican Cathy McMorris and Democrat Donald Barbieri included negative ads on both sides, including one in which national Republicans dredged up allegations of questionable business dealings by Barbieri’s since-deceased father. McMorris refused to denounce those ads, which prompted the Lewiston Morning Tribune on Oct. 7 to print the following correction: “An Oct. 1 editorial referred to Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Colville, as a ‘classy candidate.’ This page regrets the error.”
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, in April omitted “under God” when he led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., summoned him to her office for an unusual public rebuke. “All House Democrats expect the Pledge of Allegiance to be delivered as it is written with the phrase ‘under God,’ ” she told him.
The state is investigating whether Liberty Bell High principal Steve McCoy told a struggling student he needed math, science and English skills to become a successful drug dealer. Investigators hired by officials in Winthrop, Okanogan County, found little doubt that while meeting with the 14-year-old boy, his parent and teachers, McCoy told the boy he would need science so that when he opened a meth lab he wouldn’t blow up his house; English to talk his way out of being busted by police; and math so that he would know how many grams of dope he was getting for his money. McCoy said the statements were taken out of context and that he was trying to show why numerous professions need math and science.